Family Weekender: Washington, D.C.
Tired of hearing, "Daddy, I want a horse!"?
Give your little city slickers a taste of the equestrian life without the huge investment. It's just a furlong or two from D.C. to horse country and a Western-style trail ride across thousands of acres of bucolic Virginia meadows and foothills, with the misty Blue Ridge Mountains looming as a backdrop.
The Marriott Ranch offers 90-minute rides for less than $30 a person on a 4,200-acre ranch. For riders age 10 and older, rides depart three times a day, Tuesday through Sunday. Younger kids can take a pony ride, a great introduction for beginners.
For those age 16 and up, there's a schedule of special rides: moonlight, river, mountain, and overnight rides even a cattle drive! The working farm has more than 1,500 head of horses, along with a mock western town visited via a five-minute hay-wagon ride.
The ranch can also arrange fly-fishing lessons with all gear provided, as well as off-road Jeep trips.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication